Charity Beach Volleyball competition- the story of Ms. Canada Michelle Begin

When our guests visit Aruba, many fall instantly in love with our people, culture and beaches; and express their appreciation for the island by giving back time and service to our community. 

Such as Ms Canada, aka Michelle Begin, who has been coming to Aruba for more than 38 years and has been organizing charity beach volleyball tournaments for 6 years.  Sunday the 5th of March she will be hosting the 6th edition of Ms Canada’s Beach Volleyball Tournament for Charity. In this interview Michelle shares with us her motivations and aspirations for her Aruba.  

michelle begin

When was the first time you visited Aruba? 

The first time my husband and I visited Aruba was 37 years ago; we stayed at the Americana and we just fell in love with the island’s beauty, the people and the beaches, and Aruba has some amazing restaurants. So we just always continued to vacation in Aruba. There was one time we visited another island (Saint Martin) and my husband and I just looked at each other and said o God, we should have gone to Aruba! It just didn't have that homey feeling Aruba has. When people say its the One happy island they should also say it’s the most beautiful island. Trust me I have been on a lot of cruises and been to all the other islands as well, even the Cayman Islands but Aruba is the best, just the best!

How did you get started with your charity events? 

Back home I already did a lot of volunteer work for my local community; my late husband Jean Begin was a very successful businessman which allowed me to give back to my community after the kids went to school. One time I was here before my husband because I wanted to be in your Carnival parades, which is by the way an awesome experience!  I’m not the type to be just sitting on the beach all day so I thought why not organize a beach volleyball tournament for charity? I approached my favorite jewelers (Queens and Diamante), the Aruba hotels and resorts for raffle prizes and other sponsors to put together teams… it was a big succes! That year I raised $4000 and that money went to Aruba’s Orphanage Casa Cuna

Over the past years I have raised over 22k for different charities such as Stichting Ambiente Feliz (the foundation that supports the mentally challenged), Club Kibrahacha ( an elderly citizen’s club),  organized a tennis scholarship for local students, helped with new club house at the Washington soccer field, donated new equipment to the police motor unit, supported an Aruba scholarship for Women, started a soup kitchen in San Nicolas and much much more. 

What are your Aruba plans? 

For the current event we are raising money for Stichting Ambiente Feliz, Stichting Thuiszorg Aruba and for the Soup Kithen in San Nicolas.  Perhaps next year I might switch it up to a running event, running seems to be big on Aruba. I like working with the locals to make something happen together. Even though Aruba is a paradise there are always those that are less fortunate and that need all the help that they can get. 

Sign up for Ms Canada’s 6th Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament for Charity, Sunday the 5th of March 2016 at 12 pm. Email or call 613-863-816.  Click on below flyer for more information on the upcoming beach volleyball tournament. 

About the blogger: Jane Vermaas
Born and raised on the One happy island Aruba, her passions include everything Aruba has to offer. From the best snorkel spots to authentic cultural experiences, she will give you the inside scoop on where to beach bum and where to get the best local dish, where to go salsa dancing and the island’s best practices to happiness!